Odishatv Bureau

Puri: Much to the happiness of the devotees, the chariots of Lords Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra started rolling down on the Badadanda an hour and half ahead of schedule. Pulled and witnessed by lakhs of devotees who, braving the humid conditions and later on heavy rain, the Taladhwaja was the first to begin its journey carrying Lord Balabhadra to the Gundicha temple on Saturday.

Amidst the beating of bells, cymbals and conches, devotees pulled the chariot in turn soon after the completion of the Chhera Panhara ritual by Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb.

The chariot of Lord Balabhadra, Taladhwaja was pulled at 2:30 pm amidst tight security arrangements.

After Taladhwaja, Darpadalana, the chariot of Goddess Subhadra was also pulled on the Badadanda by devotees.

As per tradition, the chariot of Lord of the Universe, Nandighosa was pulled last amid chanting of Jai Jagannath.

"It was really a great experinece to be a part of the grand Rath Yatra celebrations at Puri. It was for the first time that I took part in the celebrations here. I consider myself to be lucky for having touched the rope of Nandighosa," said Ashok Sahoo, a resident of Nayagarh.